The Diffusion of American Organizational Theory in Postwar Japan

  • Schon L. Beechler
  • Vladimir Pucik


Since the late 1970s, the poor economic performance of Western industrialized nations, contrasted with Japan’s advances in the international arena, has led to a keen interest in Japanese management techniques by practitioners and academics alike. American authors have not failed to highlight the fact that some of the management practices attributed to the Japanese actually originated in the United States. The assumption among many Americans is that, although the quality and cost of our products may not be competitive, we are still “No. 1” in the battle of the intellects, and the Japanese merely copy and adapt our ideas. However, as a few authors have pointed out (Cole, 1985; Hall & Leidecker, 1981), the Japanese transformation of imported ideas concerning management contributes a new quality to theories of organization and cannot be dismissed as mere imitation.


Management Information System Japanese Management Japanese Firm Diffusion Stage Japanese Scholar 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Abegglen, J. (1958). The Japanese factory: Aspects of its social organization. Glencoe, IL: The Free Press.Google Scholar
  2. Benedict, R. (1946). The chrysanthemum and the sword. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.Google Scholar
  3. Blau, P. (1968, January). The hierarchy of authority in organizations. American Journal of Sociology, 73, 453–467.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Cole, R. E. (1985, December). The macropolitics of organizational change: A comparative analysis of the spread of small-group activities. Administrative Science Quarterly, 560-586.Google Scholar
  5. Fujihara, G. (1936). The spirit of Japanese industry. The Hokuseido Press.Google Scholar
  6. Graen, G. B. (1976). Role-making processes within complex organizations. In M. D. Dunnette (Ed.), Handbook of industrial and organizational psychology (pp. 1201–1246). Chicago: Rand McNally.Google Scholar
  7. Hall, J., & Liedecker, J. (1981, Winter). Is Japanese management anything new? A comparison of Japanese-style management with U.S. participative models. Human Resource Management, 14-21.Google Scholar
  8. Hanada, M. (1980, January). Nihonteki Keiei niokeru jyugyoin no kizoku ishiki: genjitsu to kenkyu suijun no hazamade. Kenkyujo Kiho, 5, 2–3.Google Scholar
  9. Hanada, M. (1981). Shokuba niokeru ningenkankei no kokusai hikaku. Tokyo: Ningen Noryoku Kaihatsu Center.Google Scholar
  10. Hanada, M. (1982). Gaikokuseiki chishiki rodosha no katsuyo no jittai: uchigawa karano kokusaika. Tokyo: Ningen Noryoku Kaihatsu Center.Google Scholar
  11. Hazama, H. (1971). Nihonteki keiei no tokushitsu. In H. Hazama (Ed.), Nihonteki keiei, shudanshugi no kozai (pp. 9–74). Tokyo: Nihon Keizai Shimbun Sha.Google Scholar
  12. Hazama, H. (1979, October). Comment [on Fruin, 1979]. Organizational Science, 23(3), 66–67. In Japanese.Google Scholar
  13. Hofstede, G. (1980). Culture’s consequences. Beverly Hills: Sage Publications.Google Scholar
  14. Howard, A., Shudo, K., & Umeshima, M. (1983). Motivation and values among Japanese and American managers. Personnel Psychology, 36, 883–893.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Imaizumi, M. (1984, Spring). Past and present status of quality management in Japan. Management Japan, 17(1), 18–22.Google Scholar
  16. Ishida, H. (1981, Fall). Human resources management in overseas Japanese firms. Japanese Economic Studies, X(l), 53–81.Google Scholar
  17. Ishikawa, A. (1982). A survey of studies in the Japanese style of management. Economic and Industrial Democracy, 3, 1–15.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Iwata, R. (1977). Nihonteki keiei no hensei genri. Tokyo: Bunshindo.Google Scholar
  19. Iwata, R. (1978). Gendai Nihon no keiei fudo. Tokyo: Nihonkeizai Shinbunsha.Google Scholar
  20. Kagono, T., Nonaka, I., Sakaibara, K., & Okumura, A. (1981, July). Strategies and structures of U.S. and Japanese firms: An empirical analysis. Organizational Science, 15(2), 11–34. In Japanese.Google Scholar
  21. Kashiwagi, S. (1982). The measurement of the efficiency of the encounter-group method. Organizational Science, 16(2), 54–63. In Japanese.Google Scholar
  22. Kido, Y. (1980, August). A study of organizational commitment in Japanese Companies. Mita Business Review, 23(3), 132–151. In Japanese.Google Scholar
  23. Kobayashi, N. (1982). The present and future of Japanese multinational enterprise: A comparative analysis of Japanese and U.S.-European multinational management. International Studies Management and Organization, XII(1), 38–58.Google Scholar
  24. Kobayashi, S. (1970, November /December). The creative organization—A Japanese experiment. Personnel, 8-17.Google Scholar
  25. Koike, K. (1978). Japan’s industrial relations: Characteristics and problems. Japanese Economic Studies, VXII(1), 42–90.Google Scholar
  26. Koike, K. (1978). Japan’s industrial relations: Characteristics and problems. Japanese Economic Studies, VII(1), 42–90.Google Scholar
  27. Koike, K. (1983a). Internal labor markets: Workers in large firms. In T. Shirai (Ed.), Contemporary industrial relations in Japan (pp. 29–61). Madison: University of Wisconsin Press.Google Scholar
  28. Koike, K. (1983b). Workers in small firms and women in industry. In T. Shirai (Ed.), Contemporary industrial relations in Japan (pp. 89–115). Madison: University of Wisconsin Press.Google Scholar
  29. Kono, T. (1982). Japanese management philosophy: Can it be exported? Long Range Planning, 15(3), 90–102.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Kumon, S. (1981). Nihonteki Keiei no tokushitsu towa nanika. In Nihon shakai no tokushitsu (pp. 99–126). Tokyo: Nihonkeizai Kenkyu Center.Google Scholar
  31. Lincoln, J., Hanada, M., & Olson, J. (1981, March). Cultural orientations and individual reactions to organizations. Administrative Science Quarterly, 93-114.Google Scholar
  32. Marinari, H., & Marsh, R. (1980, December). Organizational structure of Japanese factories: A test of technological implication theory. Organizational Science, 14(4), 61–75. In Japanese.Google Scholar
  33. Misumi, J. (1985). The behavioral science of leadership. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.Google Scholar
  34. Misumi, J., & Peterson, M. (1985). The performance-maintenance theory of leadership: Review of a Japanese research program. Administrative Science Quarterly, 30, 198–223.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Mouer, R., & Sugimoto, Y. (1983). Internationalization as an ideology in Japanese society. In H. Mannari, & H. Befu (Eds.), The challenge of Japan’s internationalization: Organization and culture (pp. 267–297). Tokyo: Kwansei Gakuin University and Kodansha International.Google Scholar
  36. Naoi, A., & Schooler, C. (1985). Occupational conditions and psychological functioning in Japan. American Journal of Sociology, 90(4), 729–749.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Nonaka, I. (1984, Autumn). A comparison of management in American, Japanese and European firms (II). Management Japan, 17(2), 20–37.Google Scholar
  38. Nonaka, I., & Johansson, J. (1985). Japanese management: What about the ‘hard’ skills? Academy of Management Review, 10(2), 181–191.Google Scholar
  39. Nonaka, I., & Okumura, A. (1984, Spring). A comparison of management in American, Japanese, and European firms (I). Management Japan, 17(1), 23–40.Google Scholar
  40. Okamoto, Y. (1981, Fall). Nihon Kigyo no grand strategy. Chuo Koron Kikan Keiei Mondai, 277-306.Google Scholar
  41. Okuda, K. (1971a). Managerial evolution in Japan [I] 1911-1925. Management Japan, 5(3), 13–19.Google Scholar
  42. Okuda, K. (1971b). Managerial evolution in Japan [II] 1926-1945. Management Japan, 6(4), 16–23.Google Scholar
  43. Ono, T. (1972). A personal survey of the modernization of business administration in Japan. Management Japan, 6(1), 20–27.Google Scholar
  44. Ono, T. (1979). Organizational strategies of Japanese firms. Tokyo: Managemento sha. In Japanese.Google Scholar
  45. Pucik, V., Beechler, S., & Ito, K. (1986). American organizational theory in Japan: Western concepts, Japanese spirit. Sociology and Social Research, 71(1), 20–26.Google Scholar
  46. Shimada, H. (1983). Japanese industrial relations—A new general model? A survey of the English-language literature. In T. Shirai (Ed.), Contemporary industrial relations in Japan (pp. 3–28). Madison: University of Wisconsin Press.Google Scholar
  47. Shinohara, M. (1980). Empirical study of corporate strategy in Japan: Environment-top management strategy. Mita Business Review, 23(4), 86–103. In Japanese.Google Scholar
  48. Taira, K. (1970). Economic development and the labor market in Japan. New York: Columbia University Press.Google Scholar
  49. Takahashi, T. (1970). Management information system: A critical appraisal. Management Japan, 4(1), 18–23.Google Scholar
  50. Takamiya, M. (1981, Summer). Japanese multinationals in Europe: Internal operations and their public policy implications. Columbia Journal of World Business, 5-16.Google Scholar
  51. Takamiya, S. (1983). Development of Japanese management. Management Japan, 16(1), 10–18.Google Scholar
  52. Taku, Y. (1981, July). Strategic business organization. Organizational Science, 15(2), 35–48. In Japanese.Google Scholar
  53. Tsuda, M. (1976). Nihonteki keiei no yogo. Tokyo: Toyokeizai Shinposha.Google Scholar
  54. Tsuda, M. (1977). Nihonteki keiei no ronri. Tokyo: Chuo Keizaisha.Google Scholar
  55. Uchino, T. (1981, December). On the measurement of interorganizational relations: Focusing on interlocking directorates. Organizational Science, 15(4), 53–63. In Japanese.Google Scholar
  56. Urabe, K. (1978, October). Nihonteki keieiron hihan, Kokumin Keizai Zasshi, 138, 1–18.Google Scholar
  57. Wakabayashi, M. (1979). Management career progress in a Japanese organization. Ann Arbor: UMI Press.Google Scholar
  58. Whitehill, A., & Takezawa, S. (1968). The other worker. Honolulu: East-West Center Press.Google Scholar
  59. Woodward. J. (1965). Industrial organizations: Theory and practice. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  60. Yamada, M. (1980). Beikoku ni miru Nihon-teki keiei. In T. Shishido & the Nikko Research Center (Eds.), Nihon kigyo in USA (pp. 104–131). Tokyo: Tokyo Keizai Shimpo Sha.Google Scholar
  61. Yoshihara, H. (1983, September). Cumulative type of management—Japanese management abroad. Kokumin Keizai Zasshi, 148(3), 119–138. In Japanese.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Schon L. Beechler
    • 1
  • Vladimir Pucik
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Business AdministrationThe University of MichiganAnn ArborUSA

Personalised recommendations